The holiday season can be rough for many people who are in need. One of our core values at Parametrix is compassion; so we like to take this chance to give back to our communities. Here are some ways that we have given this holiday season, and ways you can give too!
1. Toys for Tots
Toys for Tots is a program to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November, and December each year and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community.
The Parametrix Puyallup, Washington office got involved by asking for toy donations in the office as well as monetary donations. Over $500 was raised along with the toy donations collected. These toys will go to children within the local community to ensure that every child has a joyful Christmas.
Learn more about Toys for Tots and find your local program.
Parametrix’s Kristie Casarez and Tracy Lunsford deliver donations to the local Toys for Tots program.
2. Adopt a Family
The Christmas Family Adoption Foundation’s mission is to “create a positive and memorable holiday by giving gifts, clothing, and necessities to families in need.” Since 2002, the foundation has adopted over 1,500 families in the Portland Metro Area.
This year the Parametrix Portland office chose to adopt a family and will be delivering gifts in person later this month.
Check out the Christmas Family Adoption Foundation to learn about how you can get involved next year.
3. Volunteer at a Food Bank
If you’re unable to make a monetary donation or if you prefer your volunteer work to be more hands-on, volunteering at your local food bank is a great way to go!
The Parametrix Portland office spent an evening at the Oregon Food Bank after our own Jen Hughes sent out an email to the office requesting help. A total of eight Parametrix employee-owners packaged 12,000 lbs of apples and 5,000 lbs of pears (with a little bit of help from a great bunch of Boeing folks)!
After dressing up in their trendy white plastic aprons, hair nets, and gloves and a health and safety briefing, they got to work. It started with a large warehouse floor of full crates of apples. Their job was to fill portion size mesh bags with around 20 apples each and carry them to new crates for distribution. When they emptied one crate, another was rolled out to replace it. As you would expect with a group of engineers, scientists, and planners, a smooth, fast, efficient process evolved. (Of course there was no competiveness what-so-ever.)
This goes to show that just a few people donating a little bit of time can make a HUGE impact! They also managed to have fun while volunteering – coming up with fruit puns the whole time and heading to a local sports bar afterward for a round of… well anything but cider!
Here’s a little more information about the Oregon Food Bank: The Oregon Food Bank started off back in 1988 when Interagency Food Bank and Oregon Food Share merged to become Oregon Food Bank. Today, Oregon Food Bank collects food from farmers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, individuals, and government sources. They distribute that food through a statewide network of 21 regional food banks and approximately 970 partner agencies serving all of Oregon and Clark County, Washington. By 2019, they expect to be distributing 15 million pounds of produce each year.
The Food Bank does more than just collect and distribute food. With a mission that states “No one should be hungry.” They champion nutrition and gardening education, public policy to make ending hunger, and creating “food security” priorities in Oregon. And for all you blues fans, they are the driving force behind the Portland Blues Festival, one of the largest and most successful music festivals in the country. Last year, this festival raised over $1 million.
They depend heavily on volunteer support and that’s where we come in. The Oregon offices have been supporters of the food bank for years.
Check out the Oregon Food Bank Volunteer page to get involved or just search for your local food bank!
4. Hopelink Giving Tree
The Hopelink program serves families in need in north and east King County, Washington by providing stability as well as the skills and knowledge they need to exit poverty for good. There are multiple ways to give during the holiday season – including monetary donations, volunteering, and holiday drives.
The Parametrix Seattle office chose to have a Holiday Giving Tree toy drive. New, unwrapped toys are donated and then parents are allowed to hand pick from these items for their children.
Find out more about all the ways to get involved with Hopelink this holiday season.
Donations from the Seattle office for the Hopelink Giving Tree
5. Ronald McDonald House Charity
The Ronald McDonald House helps families who are going through medical treatment stay together by providing a place to stay at little or no cost while accessing medical treatment hundreds or even thousands of miles away from home.
The Parametrix Boise office will be supporting the Idaho Ronald McDonald House through donations to be delivered later this month.
Find your state’s Ronald McDonald House Charity and get involved.
6. Food Drive
Food banks are especially in need during the holiday season. You can donate food on your own by taking it directly to the food bank, or set up a food drive for your office, sports team, group of friends, etc. You can find a local food bank through this Feeding America Food Bank finder tool. You can donate holiday meal sides such as stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc. While all donations are appreciated, food banks really need healthy proteins and whole grain foods.
The Parametrix Portland office turned a food drive into a friendly competition by splitting the office into teams and seeing which team could donate the most food!
Parametrix Portland’s food drive donations last year